Thread Lift

A thread lift is a type of procedure wherein temporary sutures are used to produce a subtle but visible “lift” in the skin.

What is a thread lift?

A thread lift lift is a type of procedure in which temporary sutures are used to produce a subtle but visible “lift” in the skin. Instead of using plastic surgery to remove a patients loose skin, the doctor suspends it by stiching up portions of it. This has the effect of pulling the skin and lifting and tightening the face. In addition to being ideal for lifting the skin, the threads fight aging in a different way: triggering the body’s “healing response” and making the body create collagen to the treated areas. This is important because of the vital role collagen plays in the aging process.

Collagen helps support “growth factors” that significantly affect the condition of our skin. Collagen is not only used for wound healing, but helps to keep our skin strong, voluminous and flexible. As we age, our bodies gradually produce less and less collagen, leading to an 80% reduction in skin thickness after 70 years. This loss of volume and strength is a major factor in creating excess skin and wrinkles. As the skin weakens, it is no longer able to properly withstand the tissues underneath, meaning gravity throws it down and stretches. Infusing the skin of the face with new collagen when the signs of the skin laxity are still mild can increase firmness and prevent it from deteriorating (when strengthening the skin) .

This process provides continuous and progressive rejuvenation for facial tissues. Patients who have a thread lift to boost collagen will notice a gradual improvement in the tone and firmness of their skin. While its threads are in place, the body’s healing response will be constantly activated as the body wants to “heal” the sutured areas and expel the stitches. The body is biologically programmed to react this way when it detects any foreign object in the dermis. Fortunately, the threads placed under the skin during a thread lift are so small that the patient will not feel them. Most people cannot feel their sutures once the skin around them has healed.

What are the Benefits of having a Thread Lift instead of a Facelift?

A facelift is an invasive surgical procedure.  The primary benefit of having a thread lift is the greatly reduced recovery time. A patient need to go through heavy sedation and require around the clock assistance from a caregiver for at least three days post surgery for a facelift. Patients need to take off work for at least two weeks for the healing.

In comparison, a thread lift is an much easier procedure. There is only local, rather than general anesthesia. Post treatment the patient may experience some soreness, redness, and swelling, but most can go back to work immediately.  

Thread lifts are non-invasive so they are a safer and low risk to complications. There is virtually no scarring, or severe bruising like a facelift.

Because the procedure is less complicated, a thread lift is much more affordable than a facelift.

Thread lifts are ideal for patients who are experiencing mild to moderate, rather than severe, signs of skin laxity.

eyebrow thread lift before and after
Thread lift before and after
Thread Lift Before and After

Difference between NovaThreads and Silouette InstaLift

Two brands have been FDA approved for lifting facial tissue, NovaThreads and Silhouette InstaLift.


NovaThreads are sutures that are made from a biocompatible material called PDO. PDO has been specially designed for safe re-absorption by the body.  Post treatment, the NovaThreads stay in the skin for four to six months, after which they slowly dissolve.  Patients can expect to see results for a year or more after the treatment. The long-lasting results are caused by the collagen infusion created by the thread lift. NovaThreads come in a few varieties: Barbed sutures, which are ideal for gathering skin and producing more lifting action, and straight or curved smooth sutures, which are ideal for collagen stimulation.  Barbed sutures are usually placed near the hairline in order to gently pull back the skin and lift the cheeks and jowls.  Smooth or curved sutures are placed around the face in order to target common skin aging areas.

Silhouette InstaLift

Silhouette Instalift threads
The threads of the Silhouette InstaLift are designed somewhat differently than NovaThreads.  Rather than being barbed or smooth, they contain a number of sutures interspersed with tiny “cones” that grab the tissue.  Both NovaThreads and Sihouette InstaLift threads rely on the use of biocompatible temporary sutures to lift the face.  Silhouette InstaLift is more focused on lifting the skin than stimulating collagen production, although both will accomplish lifting and collagen production.  Patients can expect the benefits of the Silhouette InstaLift to last one to three years.


Thread lifts are low-risk non-invasive treatments that boast short recovery time.  To get the best of your thread lift, we recommend pairing it with a non-invasive laser skin rejuvenation treatment which also contribute to long lasting collagen production. By combining both treatments, patients can achieve excellent results and a positive change to their appearance, without having to do invasive procedures like a facelift.

Q & A for our Thread Lift Toronto Clinic

The immediate side effects are expected to settle within 2 weeks. For up to a week after the procedure it may feel tender around the sutures. If necessary, you can take some simple paracetamol to help with this although most patients do not bother with this step.

There are several things you must avoid after a thread lift treatment to ensure best results. These include sleeping on your stomach or side with your face in the pillow, wearing makeup, drinking alcohol, making extreme facial expressions, and receiving facials and facial massages.

The most common side effects that come with laser treatment for melasma are skin irritation, redness, skin peeling, and swelling.  Pigment will darken for 1-3 weeks following the treatment, then will begin to fade.

Following your thread lift, you may experience mild swelling, bruising, or tenderness at the suture sites. Over-the-counter medications can help these symptoms, which should resolve within about 3 – 5 days.

Results should be apparent right after the threads are put into place, but you may notice more in the days and weeks right after they are inserted, as swelling and bruising starts to subside. Results from a thread lift aren't meant to be permanent. Successful effects typically last from 1 to 3 years.

You should see results immediately after your thread lift. You may notice more lift in the days and weeks post treatment, as mild bruising and swelling starts to subside. You should maintain these results for one to three years.

How Often Should You Have Treatment? The results of this treatment can last for six to 12 months at a time, so how long the results of your treatment lasts will determine how often you should have treatment. Many patients opt to have regularly scheduled PDO thread lifts once or twice a year.

Thread lifts are not permanent. Results can last a few years. How long the results last will determined how often you should have the treatment. Many of our patients opt to have regular thread lift procedures once a year.

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